GSWA's Across the Watershed...In Brief
October 2013
Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.

--Elizabeth Lawrence, American landscape
architect and gardener, 1904-1985

Thank You! You're The Best!
The Board of Trustees, Advisory Council, staff, and members of the 2013 Gala Committee would like to thank the entire GSWA community for helping us make this year's gala fundraiser such a success!

We had great fun celebrating all of the organization's past board chairs, and we achieved our fundraising goals for the evening.

The 2013 Silent Auction, held in conjunction with the gala, exceeded all of our expectations. We are excited to know that so many people enjoyed the new experience of online bidding!

We will have more information to share about the 2013 gala in weeks to come. In the meantime, GSWA sincerely thanks this year's gala underwriters for their generous support of this event. Those underwriters were--
Gold Underwriter - PSEG
Peapack-Gladstone Bank Logo
Underwriter - Peapack-Gladstone Bank

Fall/Winter Newsletter Now Online
Across The Watershed - Fall/Winter 2013

You get our electronic enewsletters each month, but did you know that we publish a larger and longer periodical twice each year? That's right, the latest full edition of Across the Watershed is out, and if you haven't seen it in your mailbox, you can pick up a PDF copy at

Stories in the Fall/Winter 2013 installment continue our exploration of moths in the Great Swamp Watershed, provide the inside scoop on the State of the Streams in our regions, and remind you about the silent killer known as radon. Don't forget that the print edition lists all of our fall events through the end of December too!

Click here to download your copy right now.
Watershed Moments
2013 Spooky Swamp Walk Flyer

Return of Spooky Swamp!

With Halloween right around the corner, is there a better time to visit a spooky swamp where owls hoot and coyotes cry?

On Friday, October 25, the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) will lead a series of Spooky Swamp Walks through its 53-acre Conservation Management Area (CMA) in Harding Township, NJ.

Come in costume or come as you are to this outdoor celebration of all things that go bump in the Great Swamp at night!

Little or big, all of the ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and witches who appear will be led on a special night-time tour of the darkest corners, eeriest boardwalks, and blackest recesses of GSWA's own small corner of Great Swamp. Expect lots of fun and lots of surprises as you trek through forest and marsh after sunset.

Costumes are encouraged! But, keep in mind that sturdy footwear and a jacket are recommended for this event.

Walks begin at the CMA entrance located at 1 Tiger Lily Lane, Morristown, NJ. Groups of 15 to 18 people will be led into the swamp every 15 minutes from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The last tour leaves at 8:00 p.m. Cider, snacks, photo opportunities, Halloween music, and decorations will entertain those waiting to go on walks. Wait times will vary based on participation volume.

Event Registration Button
Advance registration at is appreciated.

All participants are asked to make a donation of $10/adult or $5/ child (6 to 17 years) to the Great Swamp Watershed Association. No donation for children 5 and under. Donations may be made online or at the gate.

Courtesy of Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Parties Group
Workers use a specialized environmental dredging bucket to remove contaminated sediment from the Passaic River. Courtesy of the Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Parties Group.
Cleanup Begins on the Lower Passaic: Summary & Opinion

In July, after many years of study and debate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began oversight of a $20 million dredge-and-cap project along the Lower Passaic River in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. The work will remove approximately 20,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from a short stretch of river adjacent to Riverside County Park. On August 7, GSWA Executive Director Sally Rubin attended a press conference intended to mark the start of dredging and introduce the project timeline to media representatives and the general public.

A long legacy of industrial pollution has rendered the Lower Passaic unswimmable, unfishable, and unlivable by most standards. In fact, in 1984, the overwhelming presence of hazardous substances in and below the water led the EPA to list 17 miles of the river-from Dundee Dam near Garfield to Newark Bay-as part of the Diamond Alkali Superfund site.

The site takes its name from...Continue Reading

Finish reading this article on our blog!

Swamp Snaps!
American Toad at the CMA
American toad (Buffo americanus)

Things were really hopping on September 8 at GSWA's Back-to-Swamp hike! Toads, frogs, and toadstools seemed to be in unlimited supply at our Conservation Management Area (CMA) in Harding Township. Our tour guide, Director of Education and Outreach Hazel England, scrambled to corral and examine more than half-a-dozen wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) and American toads (Buffo americanus). And, although it eluded capture, the American toad caught on camera here was kind enough to pose for several wobbly snaps before the photographer came up with something halfway decent. Wet conditions also meant that mushrooms were out in force along the CMA trails. The aroma of fungi was quite pronounced all morning long!
In Case You Missed It...
Environmental lecture series (and breakfast) in Morristown kicks off in October

From Reporter Justin Zaremba reminds you to attend all of GSWA's Breakfast Briefing events scheduled for the fall season. Don't forget that the first briefing is on October 15! Read the Article

Did You Know?
What Brings Fall Colors to Our Trees?
by Ann Campbell, Jim Northrop, & Steve Reynolds

Credit: S. Reynolds.
Fall foliage along New Jersey's
Passaic River. Credit: S. Reynolds.
Like most other plants, trees rely on a biological process called photosynthesis to manufacture the nutrients they need to survive. Photosynthesis works by using light from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into the food compounds-sugars and other carbohydrates-necessary for growth and renewal. Since most of a tree's photosynthesis takes place in the leaves, it is little wonder that those beautiful, ornately-veined structures have evolved to expose as much surface area as possible to incoming sunlight.

But what is it within each leaf that interacts with sunlight? And what is it we see in autumn when leaves turn from green to red or gold, purple or orange? The answer is pigment.

Trees leaves contain several pigments. All of them are important to the function of photosynthesis, but each one...Continue Reading

Finish reading this article on our blog!

GSWA Promotions
Courtesy of the Back To Nature Fund

Grow Organic Food in Your Backyard Year Round

There is a chill in the air, but don't let that put a damper on your gardening. Cold frames extend the growing season so you have access to organic vegetables and herbs year round.

Great Swamp Watershed Association members
receive a 10% discount on purchases made at
Back to Nature Home & Garden in Basking Ridge.

Whether you are in store, buying online, or purchasing landscape & construction services, *all you need to do is use the code GREATSWAMP10 at checkout.

3055 Valley Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Tel. 908-350-7506
Back To Nature Fund Logo
Sponsored & administered by CRI.
The Back To Nature Fund

Thanks to the Back To Nature Fund, every time you use your discount Great Swamp Watershed Association will receive a donation equal to 5.5% of your purchase amount at Back To Nature Home & Garden.

Let's get Back to Nature...
With our selection of locally sourced plants and organic materials, you'll find everything needed for gardening success at Back To Nature Home & Garden. Our store hosts an array of artisanal gifts including pottery, woodwork, organic soaps and local honey.
In This Issue
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Do you enjoy reading this eNewsletter?

Do you think we're doing a good job of protecting the waters and the land of the Great Swamp Watershed? If so, then please help us continue our work by sending in your gift of support right now!
Upcoming Events
Help GSWA maintain vegetated pond buffers planted in 2011 around Harding Township's Bayne Pond. Work includes preparing the buffers for winter by weeding, spreading mulch, and repairing deer and goose fencing. Runs from 9AM to Noon at Bayne Park off Blue Mill Rd., Harding Township.
Learn More & Register
Is there anything we can do about the many problems New Jersey has with its water resources? Yes! It's a process called disconnecting, and it works because it directly addresses the problem of stormwater runoff--the biggest contributor to flooding and water pollution statewide. Dr. Chris Obropta of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension visits to tell us more about disconnecting. Starts at 8AM at GSWA offices, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Morristown.
Learn More & Register
Come in costume or come as you are to this outdoor celebration of all things that go bump in the Great Swamp at night! Is there a troll under that bridge? A wild, swamp man in the trees? A demon dog on the loose?
Learn More & Register
GSWA Goes Social!
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Great Swamp Watershed Association
Protecting our waters and our land for more than 30 years
Street Address: 568 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown, NJ  07960 - Map It!
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 300, New Vernon, NJ  07976
For more than 30 years, the Great Swamp Watershed Association has been dedicated to protecting and improving water resources New Jersey's Great Swamp Watershed region. We do this by monitoring and maintaining streams and open space, advocating for intelligent land use and environmental policy, and educating communities about water and its effect on the health and natural beauty of the local environment.

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.